Europe ‘slipping back into recession’

Europe is sliding back into a recession and this means more unemployment, a member of the European Commission has said.

Commissioner for …

Europe is sliding back into a recession and this means more unemployment, a member of the European Commission has said.

Commissioner for employment and social affairs Laszlo Andor told the Bloomberg podcast: "Europe is now sliding into a second dip. We were emerging from the recession a year ago – it was a very promising period with job growth.

"Now there is a deceleration and potentially a recession and unemployment is on the rise again, especially in the euro area with Greece, Ireland, Portugal and some other countries facing tough situations with austerity."

He noted that this situation is unevenly spread, with the dire situation in countries on the periphery contrasting with that of Germany, which is enjoying its lowest unemployment levels since unification.

Mr Andor noted that a €30 billion (£25 billion) fund is available to help member states take action on unemployment, particularly amongst the young.

For British consumers facing unemployment, debt management plans may help to deal with the increased difficulty of paying back borrowing.

And the warnings of Mr Andor come at a time when more European nations are slipping into recession and UK unemployment is rising.

New data published today (February 15th) by the Office for National statistics has revealed the level of joblessness in the UK is continuing to increase.

The three months to December saw the number out of work increase by 48,000 to 2.67 million, or 8.4 per cent of the working population, the highest figure since 1995.

And the tally of people claiming jobseeker's allowance in January 2012 was up 6,900 from December to 1.60 million, 0.5 per cent higher than the January 2011 figure of 146,300.

However, one positive sign was that the inactivity rate was down by 78,000 over the quarter and the number in jobs was 60,000 up (0.1 per cent) over the period to 70.3 per cent.  

By James Francis
 

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